"Holy Cow" is right.

This is quite possibly one of the most important discoveries that we’ve made. Other than that commentary, I’ll let it speak for itself.


“Holy Cow” is right.

You know what would be funny? If it landed on ice, slipped and just fell.

“We think we have discovered ice on Mars.”

“You think?”

“Well, after landing on the surface, our lander well… slipped… after which we lost contact.”

“You didn’t think to equip it with ice (some word)?”

“Well, yes… but…”

“No buts. Siberia with you!”

“What? Siberia?”

“Well, no… but I was caught up in the moment.”

“Holy Cow” is right.

grin Well they’re not totally sure that the ice is water, yet (they have reached consensus, but not proven the issue with testing yet). If the ice is actual pure, saltless water then it will be the first time we’ve found it elsewhere (we’ve found very saturated salt water and various forms of dry ice (frozen CO2) elsewhere on the planet).

Perhaps it’s not as big as I felt… but I find it downright fascinating anyway.

“Holy Cow” is right.

Yeah. I misspoke there. This would be the first… significantly large portion that we’ve found on a decently habitable planet (relatively to, say, the moon). The implication, if that is ice, is that there might be water and the implication from water, which we really don’t see in its liquid form in many other places at all, is that there might be life, if only the microbial sort.

“Holy Cow” is right.

I’m not saying it has happened or is a likelihood, but “less unlikely than any other place we’ve seen” is still a pretty big leap in probability from everywhere else (again, only if the ice is actual -water- water does this apply). It means that, regardless of whether Mars -does- support life, it -could.- (though, not us)

“Holy Cow” is right.

Ice = Water = Possible microscopic single-celled organisms = Life

The key word is possible, Blood.

It’s good to know they’ve discovered something.

“Holy Cow” is right.

Well they are sure it ice now, apparently it is melting or evaporating.

“Holy Cow” is right.

This isn’t a new descovery infact there have been many descussions on the topic in New Scientist, the issue that I am remmebering was from '07 and this is my interpritation of it, for more details go to the New Scientist archive.

It is entirely possible that there is life currently living on mars, small pockets of liquid hydrogen proxide (H2O2) would have the same properties as water except for having a lower melting point and boiling point. If this is the case our classic tests for life in the form of micro organisms is useless because the heating the micro organisms to 70 degrees hence killing them and testing the sample for acidity (usualy averages at 5.5 pH for life on earth) would be pointless because the unstable at higher tempratures H2O2 would cause the sample to be full of OH- ions meaning the sample is alkali. What’s more due to the calculated average composition of the compounds and elements that are found as raw materials to go into the primordial soup there isn’t enough phosphorus to make our DNA supportable and what’s there would be too slow to react. Instead the DNA of the life on mars might be arsnic based as it is a more abundent and much more reactive element which would be another counter indication for life as we know it, as arsnic is poisonous to life currently on earth.

“Holy Cow” is right.

That arsnic crap sounds like it came from Evolution.

I thought silicon was more likely?

And then also, you try drinking hydrogen peroxide.

“Holy Cow” is right.

Arsnic is more reactive than Phosphorus the basis of the double helix and acts in chemicly the same way, yes it does come from a study of evolution (not the movie) some of the most acheint fosil records available show a Arsnic spike in the spectograph where for more modern samples a phosphorus spike is shown. H2O2 is highly corosive at tempratures found on earth and is no good for us but for life as we don’t know it, it could act the same way as water does for us, especially bellow -2 Celcius (270 Kelvin) where the OH- ions do not disociate.

NOTE THE KEY WORDS: life as we don’t know it

As for silicon based life forms silicon itself is a much more stable chemical and so you are more likely to find silicon based life where there is more heat and where if has more chance of reaching the required activation energy to react, although in the presence of other elements it could react at lower tempratures, the likely hood of the typical cristyline silicon lifeforms ever developing at these tempratures are neglageable but in an infinite universe its bound to happen some where, mars unlikely.

Here is part of the actual article from New Scientist date 06 June '07

“Holy Cow” is right.

I was talking about silicon rather than carbon.

I didn’t know about the arsenic thing. Interesting.

“Holy Cow” is right.

Forget I mentioned it most people do when I say it in public … there is a silicon based life thing in the same article if you access the archive … I can’t be bothered any more.

“Holy Cow” is right.

The big question is if it’s “water” ice. Yes, it’s not a “big” deal, as we have found it before. But depending on future human activity it’s important to find large amounts on water on mars.

If there is it means our future bases there can make their own fuel/air/water to use.

If there’s ALOT of water it means we can start seeding the planet with microbes to produce CO2 and an atmosphere.

I think that’s really the biggest reason they are getting so excited.

Though I still doubt we could terra-form the planet. With it’s iron core solid it has no magnetic field, what good is air and atmospheric pressure if there’s to much solar radiation outside to enjoy it?

“Holy Cow” is right.

No I think the big question is if there’s already life there is it moral to destroy it by terraforming the planet or even to build bases … we wouldn’t exist if aliens had don that to us on the other hand maybe the bioboom a boring and increadably long time ago was caused inadvertantly by aliens who knows but would we really want to destroy the only evidence of life with origins outside earths limits.